Through my obsession with water bottles, and the specific requirements of mounting larger sized bottles onto the frame, I came across Bike Buddy: the best bottle holder extension.
This company is like that one that your Grandfather or Uncle started 30 years ago in his shed for fun… and it hasn’t really moved since. Its website boasts ‘probably the most versatile system on the planet’ much like Carling has in recent adverts, but I’m sure with less arrogance.
The Bike Buddy is a very interesting apparatus. It secures a cylindrical object via springs and hooks onto a plate that then slides onto fixed nuts on the frame. In other words, when you remove the bottle, you remove the bottle holder too, leaving a clean frame with two screws protruding. What you are left with is a bottle wrapped in an exoskeleton of springs and clamps.
The instructions you have to take with a grain of salt. They are amusingly incomprehensible. Written and photocopied on both sides, they are a true test for anyone who loves a good challenge. Think Ikea chest of drawers without the numbered parts… and in Swedish… printed in reverse. But all this of course is part of the charm.
Bottom line: It works. And well. After you finally figure out how to set it up, it has that solid industrial feel that you know you can trust. For me, it’s holding the spare fuel/gas bottle on the underside of the downtube, and I have all the confidence that it wont be falling off in any hurry.
Buy something from Bike Buddy, and it’ll arrive in a brown paper padded envelope, hand written, with the sort of calligraphy that your grandparents might be akin to. You can just make out the faint ruled lines that the sender drew to ensure level text. It’s a joy to receive. A lost art form of personable relations between traders. I bet the engineer even licked the stamps themselves, walked to the local PO and chatted about the weather or the recent new development in town to their neighbour friend sat behind the counter.
Whimsical? Maybe. But in a world of mass technical development and multi-national corporations, I like knowing that a person, in a shed, in Waltham Abbey, Essex, can produce something that fits a market, that hasn’t been copied, or replicated or worst of all, bought out.